Students lounge on steps at Perelman Quadrangle

Case for Aid

As the need for undergraduate financial aid has grown steadily, so too has Penn’s commitment to increasing access for talented students, regardless of their means. Accessible and affordable education is more than a priority for Penn. It is an imperative that reflects the University’s core values. But this ongoing commitment to grant-based aid does not come without a cost: Penn’s financial aid budget has grown by more than 150 percent in the past decade.

The portion of the aid budget covered by Penn’s endowment has increased, thanks to philanthropic support, from 4.5 percent in the 1990s to 25 percent today. Even with those gains, however, 75 percent of the financial aid program still comes from Penn’s operating budget, placing ongoing strain on the University’s resources.

Philanthropy is the foundation on which Penn’s commitment to affordable education stands firm. With every gift to the Undergraduate Named Scholarship Program, donors affirm their belief in equalizing opportunity. When the most academically gifted students can come to Penn regardless of their ability to pay, our society benefits. When they graduate, these bright young people are the change-makers our times require, poised to make the world a better place.


My scholarship has done more than just help me pay for college; it has eased fears and in turn, invested in my vision to change the world.

—Cassandra C'21

Support a Future Leader

Learn more about all of the ways you can support a scholar through the Undergraduate Named Scholarships program.